Treatment of barrel wood infected with acetic acid bacteria


Four barrel sanitizing treatments were compared for their effectiveness on wood infected with acetic acid bacteria. These treatments included hot water and solutions of chlorine, sulfur dioxide, and potassium carbonate. Pieces of stave wood ('mini-staves') in sterile flasks of wine plugged with cotton were used instead of barrels of wine. An initial experiment looked at all four treatments and a control (water rinse) using ministaves that had two sides sealed with a wet surface liner (the sides that would normally be the stave ends). The mini-staves were contaminated with a strain of Acetobacter aceti. Only the hot water treatment (85°C to 88°C water for 20 minutes) was successful in eliminating the bacteria. A second experiment studied the hot water and control treatments using mini-staves without sealed sides. These were contaminated with either a strain of A. aceti or A. pasteurianus. The hot water treatment was successful in eliminating both strains of bacteria.


Environmental Plant Science and Natural Resources

Document Type



Acetic acid bacteria, Barrel sanitizing, Oak

Publication Date


Journal Title

American Journal of Enology and Viticulture